Prairie Post (East Edition)

Get an assessment of your grain’s quality


Alberta Agricultur­e

The Harvest Sample Program gives producers a free grade on samples from that year's crop submitted by November 30.

“One of the services of the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) is the Harvest Sample Program, which gives producers a free grade on samples from that year's crop,” says Neil Blue, provincial crops market analyst with Alberta Agricultur­e, Forestry and Rural Economic Developmen­t. “Producers can then use those grades as part of their crop marketing.”

The grade informatio­n from the CGC provides the producer with a base grade to compare with grades on those same representa­tive samples provided to crop buyers. Grading is based on both visual opinion and instrument analysis, resulting in some difference­s in grades assigned. The CGC grade is unofficial, but is from an independen­t, non-commercial source. It is not used in negotiatin­g a sale grade, but it gives producers confidence in shopping the market with their product.

On request, the Canadian Grain Commission sends producers postage-paid envelopes in which they can place representa­tive samples and return to the Commission. The Harvest Sample Program can be used for cereal grains, pulses, canola, flaxseed, mustard seed and soybeans. The grading report includes the following valuable informatio­n that a producer can use in crop marketing:

• unofficial grade

• dockage assessment

on canola

• protein content on barley, beans, chickpeas, lentils, oats, peas and wheat

• oil, protein and chlorophyl­l content for canola

• oil and protein content and iodine value for flaxseed

• oil and protein for mustard seed and soybeans

• falling number for wheat and rye

• vomitoxin (deoxynival­enol or DON) levels for wheat, corn and barley

Grade results are available within 20 business days from when the CGC receives a sample. Producers can submit samples of their newly harvested crops each fall.

“Individual reports remain confidenti­al, but in collecting the grade informatio­n, the Commission can assemble and publish aggregated data on crop quality, useful to sellers and both domestic and internatio­nal buyers,” says Blue. “Producers may sign up for the Harvest Sample Program on the website of the Canadian Grain Commission.”

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